Vegetarian Tom Kha

I don’t mess around when it comes to Tom Kha, and I also don’t like to rush the broth.  So this is a longer recipe – it’s mostly just sit and wait time though. So start your broth, sit back and relax!

I’d say it’s my “Signature Dish”


It’s one I make often, I’ve made changes to, and tried several different methods of making it (and I often make it very different ways!)  It’s a dish I have to control myself when eating.  It’s too easy to gorge on.

Note watch your saltiness here – I use low sodium version of soy sauce and miso paste – so you may want to use less of the recommended amounts if you use full sodium products.

Note 2 if you can find Kaffir Lime Leafs, you should add them! They’re ideal for the broth, I just…..never can seem to find them!

Ingredients for Soup Base

  • 9 Cups Vegetable Broth (High Quality – Make at home if possible)
  • 1 tsp of Sesame Oil
  • 3 – 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 – 3 cans Full Fat Thai Coconut Milk
  • 1 Galangal Root (about 4 inches of root)
  • 1 Ginger Root (about 4 inches ginger)
  • 4 – 5 sticks of Lemon Grass
  • 3 T Tamari/Soy Sauce (Add less first, you can always add more later)
  • Water as needed
  • 3 Limes Juiced
  • 1 T Rice Vinegar
  • 2 T Miso Paste (I used reduced sodium)
  • Sriracha or Chili Paste

For inside the soup (I use one to all of the following – this is really up to you!)

  • Mushrooms
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Tofu
  • Rice
  • Bell Peppers
  • Peppers
  • Sriracha
  • Chili Garlic Paste
  • Green Onions
  • Bok Choy
  • Etc Etc.


  1. In a large pot, heave a bit of sesame oil over medium heat.  Add in minced garlic and cook for about a minute.
  2. Add in all of your broth and start bringing up the heat to a simmer.  While you do this (it takes me a while since my broth is in the fridge and cold), prep your other ingredients.
  3. I add in the roots 2 different ways.  I remove skin and finely mince about 1 inch of each root and add to the broth.. then I simply slice (large chunks) of a few more inches of the root.  These will be removed later.
  4. For the Lemongrass, remove the outer most layer.  Cut off the bottom and use about the first 6 inches.  Finely mince it up and add to the broth.  Add the next few inches whole into the broth (this will be removed).
  5. Do not boil. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for about an hour or longer (sometimes I do 3 or 4 hours).
  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove large chunks of Ginger, Galangal and Lemongrass.  Add in Soy Sauce and coconut milk and stir to combine.  Make sure nothing comes to a boil, always just a simmer.
  7. Also, add in Tofu here If using.
  8. Let cook for another 30 minutes on a low simmer.
  9. Finally, add in your Lime Juice, Rice Vinegar and Miso Paste.  To properly add miso paste, take a bit of the warm soup broth out and pour it into a bowl. Add in your miso paste and mix well, then add that back into the soup.
  10. Add in any other ingredients you want in the soup.  (If you add mushrooms, cook for a few minutes longer, if you add bokchoy, only add right before serving to avoid it going to limp)
  11. Add a bit of Sriracha or Chili paste, mix well to combine everything and taste your broth.  Adjust your flavors as needed, add more acidity or saltiness if desired.  I sometimes thin the broth a bit with water if it’s too rich or thick (this also gives you more soup…so why not!)
  12. Serve! I usually top mine with a bit of Green onion and Sriracha upon serving.